5A baseball: Carroll, Goddard advance to semifinals
- 4A baseball: St. James routs Concordia; Mulvane takes fourth
- 5A baseball: Carroll survives late-inning test for title
- Saturdays state championship scoreboard
- 3A baseball: Unbeaten Humboldt eliminates Independent
- 4A baseball: Trinity shut out by St. James
- 6A baseball: Wichita-area teams shut out of semis
- Gallery: State Baseball Championships Day 1
While instability and commotion were surrounding Goddard’s baseball team, coach Steve Sheahon brought the Lions back to his message from well before their 5A quarterfinal game against Kapaun Mount Carmel.
"It comes down to those little things," Sheahon said. "We stressed that all year long — one little thing we don’t do and there’s the game. So yeah, little things. And we executed. The little things, we executed."
The game included 22 runs and two furious comebacks — one by each team — but Goddard prevailed by making normally insignificant plays that became vital to its 12-10 win at Eck Stadium.
The Lions’ winning run came on a bunt single by Trey Douglas. An insurance run was plated on a sacrifice fly. And Goddard’s winning pitcher, Alex Shoemaker, threw exactly one pitch, getting out of a jam after Kapaun tied it 10-10 with five runs in the sixth against Collin Nevil.
Those little things mattered to Goddard because Kapaun wasn’t adept at mastering them during the difference-making sixth inning. Douglas’ sacrifice turned into a hit when the Crusaders failed to get a defensive player to first base in time for what could have been the second out.
James Lawson advanced from first to third on the play when Kapaun also was unable to cover third base, and Lawson scored on a sacrifice fly by Colton Turner that may have ended the inning.
"Sometimes your emotions get too high or get too low," Kapaun coach Steve Lienhard said. "I think that’s part of getting worn out. You can’t keep that up high, then you’ve got to try to stay relaxed."
Kapaun scored five runs in the first, three unearned thanks to an error. Led by Austin White, who had three hits, two runs and an RBI in the first four innings, Goddard steadily got closer, pulling to 5-4 after four.
The Lions’ breakthrough came in the fifth, when consecutive doubles to start the inning tied it before Jacob Baca’s triple gave Goddard the lead. They tacked on four more against reliever Thomas Meitzner, Kapaun’s ace, to go ahead 10-5.
"You can’t go down 5-0 and just give up," Douglas said. "You’ve got to chip away. We didn’t need to score five right there, maybe get one run in the (first) inning."
Kapaun matched its five-run first in the sixth, battering a worn-down Nevil, who left after a walk to Jordan Adolph loaded the bases. Shoemaker retired Derek Roberts on a fly ball to right on Shoemaker’s only pitch, and Quntin Dougherty struck out to in a perfect seventh to send Goddard to today’s semifinals against Blue Valley.
"You never like to blow a five-run lead late," Baca said. "It gets everybody down. But good job to our pitching staff and our team for not giving up and getting their heads down. We were able to get back and score two and win the ballgame."
Carroll 3, Mill Valley 1 — The first time Jalen Hernandez reached third base with fewer than two outs, Carroll baseball coach Charlie Ebright left it to the Golden Eagles’ hitters to bring him home and it didn’t work.
Hernandez, Carroll’s tailback in the fall, is on the baseball team primarily because he can run. So when Hernandez got to third again in the fourth inning, Ebright played to his strengths.
A failed squeeze play turned into a steal of home for Hernandez, a key run in Carroll’s 3-1 win over Mill Valley in the quarterfinals of the 5A tournament at Eck Stadium.
"We tried to manufacture one earlier — we had a guy on third with no outs, a leadoff triple," Ebright said. "We couldn’t get him in. I said, ’Well, we’re going to do something different here.’ It worked out."
Hernandez was courtesy-running for Carroll catcher Taylor Sanagorski, and he was stranded after Sanagorski’s second-inning leadoff triple.
After Sanagorski’s single, Hernandez advanced to third on a wild pitch and sacrifice bunt, giving the Eagles a second chance to add to their 1-0 lead. With Hernandez sprinting home, Zeke Palmer squared to bunt but pulled the bat back as the pitch headed for the dirt, allowing Hernandez to score without a play.
Carroll added another run in the inning when Tanner Palmore, who reached base in all four of his plate appearances, delivered an RBI single to make it 3-0.
"It definitely kind of lifts the morale and it gets everybody going," Sanagorski said of Hernandez’s baserunning efforts. "That’s just what we look for, especially here in the state tournament."
The runs were plenty for Carroll pitcher Seth Holman, who collaborated with Sanagorski to devise a plan that allowed aggressive Mill Valley hitters to swing early in counts. Holman, a senior right-hander, got through five of his seven innings on nine or fewer pitches.
Holman walked the leadoff batter in the seventh and allowed a run, but he finished with 64 pitches, staying relatively fresh for a possible appearance today.
He also benefitted from excellent defense — Palmer snagged a liner in left with a runner on in the fourth and first baseman Evan Koehler executed a double play when he caught a foul ball over his shoulder then turned and threw a perfect strike to Sanagorski to nab a runner tagging from third.
"We could tell after the first inning that they’re a free-swingning team," Holman said. "I’ve got to give it all to my defense, though. I let them hit the ball, let the defense work and they made plays for me."
Seaman 4, Lansing 1
|Lansing||000||001||0||—||1 6 0|
|T. Seaman||102||100||x||—||4 7 1|
W — Rea. L — Patton.
Carroll 3, Mill Valley 1
|Carroll||100||200||0||—||3 7 2|
|Mill Valley||000||000||1||—||1 4 3|
W— Holman. L — Knehans.
Blue Valley 8, Hays 2
|Blue Valley||001||142||0||—||8 10 0|
|Hays||000||000||0||—||0 2 0|
W — Edwards. L — Hutchinson. HR — BV, Lamunyon.
Goddard 12, Kapaun 10
|Kapaun||500||005||0||—||10 11 2|
|Goddard||102||162||x||—||12 16 2|
W—Shoemaker. L—Luman. S—Dougherty.